Jeannine Kanwischer loved travelling long before she became a Flight Attendant with SWISS. She and her family loved going to Florida, and did so often. Later, she explored the state for herself on road trips. She has been flying the world for SWISS since 2013, and has explored and got to know many of its cities. However, there is one place she still loves going to today as much as ever: Miami.
There's a reason why the city is known as the "Capital of Latin America". Unlike other American cities, the majority of the population speak Spanish as their mother tongue. Something else that Jeannine finds most fascinating about this coastal town: "Whether in cafés, bars or shops, you'll hear the latest Latin beats wherever you go – and the South American temperament is also all around you." Apart from the "vida loca", the city's other attractions include the fabulous weather, multi-faceted art and numerous outdoor activities. SWISS flies to (MIA) twice a day from Zurich (ZRH).
For a successful start to the day, you need a cup of really good coffee. "Contrary to the prejudice surrounding the thin American brew, this café offers very high-quality, well-made coffee," Jeannine is aware. The owners of Panther Coffee, Joel and Leticia Pollock, have committed themselves to pampering their customers with the best coffee in the world. Much to Jeannine's delight: "It's a claim that they are able to live up to every single day. And sustainability is just as important to them." For those who like something a little sweet with their coffee, "The chocolate croissants are simply unbelievable!"
Well-fortified, it's now time for some morning sports. "After all, you have to be able to hold your own against the beautiful, highly toned Miami Beach Babes." Jeannine always opts for some trendy Stand Up Paddling. "Not only does it get you fit, but you also get to know the city from a different angle." A route through the nearby canals is recommended when you hire an SUP. "It allows you to look into the fabulous gardens and pool houses of the wealthy residents," says Jeannine. As the water is calmer than on the open sea, the route is also ideal for beginners. And with a little luck, the sports enthusiasts will also be treated to another highlight: "You might even encounter a local vegetarian sea cow, also known as manatees)."
After the workout, it's time for a healthy snack: "The refreshing smoothie from the Jugofresh Juice Bar is sensational!" This also sets you up for a little tour of Miami's Design District. The area is home to over 130 art galleries, and is well known for the unusual wall art that can be seen on the houses and in the streets from a long way away, creating some extremely popular backdrops: "It's a great place to take some really cool photos!"
Strolling and being amazed are the watchwords: "Over the past few years, the former working-class district of Wynwood has become one of the trendiest parts of Miami." Warehouses have been turned into galleries and studios; crumbling walls have become the canvases for graffiti artists. "There are absolutely no limits to the imagination," Jeannine enthuses. At the heart of Wynwood is the open-air gallery "Wynwood Walls". More than 50 artists from all over the world have immortalised themselves here, including Shepard Fairy, creator of the famous Obama "Hope" poster. "If you don't want to miss a thing in this district, then go on the Wynwood Mural bicycle tour, which is free," recommends Jeannine.
Then head back to Miami Beach for a light lunch. "My favourite restaurant is Juvia at the west end of Lincoln Road." The stylish restaurant delights with its trendy water installations, impressive façade planting and wonderful views of Miami Beach. "It serves Asian delights, such as various bento boxes." The unusual dessert creations are a dream – and an absolute must. There one sweet temptation that appeals to Jeannine in particular: "Key Lime Pie in a glass! Well-known desserts are broken down into their individual ingredients and served in a glass. Delicious!" If you want a spot at Juvia in the evening, be sure to book in advance.
A little constitutional takes you to an impressive, freely accessible memorial: the Holocaust Memorial. "It's away from the cheerful bustle of the beach, and somewhere to find peace and learn a little more about some of the city's history." Because this is a memorial not only to the destruction of millions of Jews in Europe, but also to the fact that one of the highest populations of Holocaust survivors in the USA lives in South Florida. "The memorial consists of several installations and the 13 metre bronze hand, lots of individual sculptures, unforgettable photographs, and much more."
The day continues along Lincoln Road, once called the Fifth Avenue of the South. In the 1950s, the architect Morris Lapidus created the street in the style of Miami Modern architecture, and declared it a pedestrian area. It was renovated in the 1990s, and planted with native plants. "It's a lovely spot for a stroll and to enjoy yourself. There are also numerous shopping options, restaurants, cafés and galleries."
Now it's time for a little more exercise. After all, Miami is famous for its outdoor activities. "If it's action you're after, then best hire some inline skates with a helmet and pads, and cruise slowly along the beach," recommends Jeannine. The skating scene in the Kendall Lakes area is particularly big, with lots of professionals demonstrating their acrobatic skills. If you wait a little longer before donning your skates, you can roll into the sunset. "The skyscrapers of Miami Beach and downtown are just far enough to enjoy wonderful views of the setting sun. An amazing sight!"
Your stomach will be well and truly rumbling after such an active day. Jeannine recommends the restaurant MyCeviche: "It serves the city's best ceviche and most delicious tacos in the evenings!" Latino vibes play a big part in Miami, which is why no visitor should miss a typical Latin-American dish like ceviche. It is made with fresh raw, chopped fish in a lime marinade. "A true culinary delight!" The restaurant is actually a take-away, and although there is seating, Jeannine recommends an outdoor picnic: "It's not far to the beach, and tucking in to your fresh ceviche under a starry sky with the sound of the ocean in the background is just phenomenal!"
The best way to start the night is over a drink, and where better to do that than in an award-winning bar? "The Broken Shaker" is one of the best in the world, and attracts countless visitors not only with its excellent cocktails, but also with the wonderful ambience. "The pub is furnished in a vintage style, and in the courtyard is a pool surrounded by a tropical garden. A little slice of heaven," says Jeannine. The fresh herbs for the exotic drinks are taken from the pub's own garden. Jeannine's tip: "Try the Spicy Margarita!"
Ocean Drive is world-famous, and should not be missed as the fitting end to any exciting day. It's perfect for a stroll and enjoying the sea of lights. That's because colourful lights shine on the buildings at night. Always a highlight for Jeannine: "You feel as if you were in one of the many film backdrops or music videos that have made this area world-famous, and have spread its flair all over the world."